Every season of The X-Files has its memorable episodes — and then it has those not so memorable ones. “The Walk” is one of the less than memorable ones from season three.
Watching season three again, I feel like the show has peaks and valleys. This one comes in one of those valleys.
As a stand-alone, it’s got some nice set pieces and visuals (the woman being attacked in the pool, Mulder seeing a ghostly form in the steam) but overall it doesn’t all add up to a complete episode. Mulder and Scully look into reports of mysterious deaths and attempted suicides by patients at a military hospital. The injuries and deaths are reportedly caused by a multiple amputee patient named Quntin Freely. Freely has learned to send his spirit outside his body and to inflict revenge on members of the military and their family who he feel have stolen his life by sending him to Persian Gulf to fight.
Part of my lack of love for this episode comes from the simple fact that Mulder and Scully don’t really get to do much but react to the various deaths and situations created by Freely. They’re always a step behind him and I’m not necessarily sure that the agents really made that much of an impact on the resolution of the episode.
The other part that I didn’t love is every once in a while the show goes really overboard on the “Mulder is right” about the extreme and/or paranormal reasons behind the case. And it feels like every time Scully comes up with a counter-theory here that either he or the show goes out of the way to prove her wrong. I prefer the dynamic to be a bit more give and take than what we get here.
This one feels like a lot of other, possibly better installments of the series that are lurking in later seasons. And maybe some that have come before.
A young girl is kidnapped and taken away by a photographer’s assistant. Meanwhile, across town, a waitress has a nosebleed and is repeating what the kidnapper said to the young girl. Turns out some of the blood is the new girl who has been taken. Everyone suspects that the waitress is on it — well, everyone but Mulder who believes the two girls are linked because they share the same kidnapper.
That’s a lot to ask the audience to take in, but I can go with it.
We get to see Mulder becoming obsessed with the case because it may have a connection to his sister (Scully calls him on it and while he denies it, you can’t help but think he protests a bit too much). And we have a photographer doing weird things and kidnapping people. I honestly feel like there are more memorable episodes to come that borrow elements of this one and do them better.
But, for the most part, this one works fairly well. It’s not great, mind you, but it’s good.
And we get a guest appearance from Jewel Staite who would go on to star in Firefly.